The La Jolla Parks and Beaches committee (LJP&B) heard a flurry of reports during its Sept. 23 meeting:
Marine Protected Areas
To make it easier for the public and those who fish to comply with the rules of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Wildcoast representative Zach Plopper said the organization is implementing a sign template that identifies a MPA and the rules therein. Plopper said these would be called “You Are Here” signs to make them approachable and understandable.
The rules of the sea are different in each MPA, Plopper explained. The Matlahuayl Reserve, for example — which is bounded by the western edge of La Jolla Cove, the Bridge Club and where the coastline bends around, below the median high-tide line — is a no-take MPA. That means there is no taking of any living or non-living marine resource, including seaweed, fish and shells.
“We’ve been working toward getting a neutral sign that everybody can accept that’s not anti-fishing, but embraces the whole notion that it’s (any) marine resource that you cannot take from the MPA,” Plopper said.
He said the Department of Fish and Wildlife ultimately gives the approval and has pre-approved the template planned for La Jolla. Plopper said he would bring the template to the next LJP&B meeting. Wildcoast will also work with the community to identify key sign locations to avoid sign clutter.
Children’s Pool closure
LJP&B Chair Dan Allen said he attended the Sept. 12 San Diego Planning Commission meeting at which the seasonal closure of the Children’s Pool was discussed. On behalf of the LJP&B, Allen spoke against the seasonal closure. However, the Planning Commission voted 4-2 to recommend the city adopt an ordinance to close Children’s Pool beach during the harbor seals’ pupping season, mid-December to mid-May.
Capital Improvement Projects
Allen also said the La Jolla Community Planning Association approved endorsement of 10 of the 13 prioritized recommendations submitted by LJP&B for the 2015 Capital Improvement Project list, switching the placement priority of two items.
The LJCPA will recommend the city include the following capital improvement projects on its list of projects to fund and implement: Coast Boulevard sidewalk improvements at Children’s Pool, a 2008 plan for South Coast Boulevard Park, a 2009 plan for Scripps Park, Coast Walk parking feasibility studies, La Jolla Heights Natural Park reservoir replacement, La Jolla Parkway/ Soledad Mountain erosion control, a development plan for Charlotte Park, coastal area park signage, Kellogg Park seawall and boardwalk reconstruction, and updating and implementing the development plan for the Fay Avenue Bike Path.
Regarding the off-putting odor at the Cove, Allen said he has been in communication with point person Mark Evans who agrees with the LJP&B position that the simplest, most cost-effective, most environmentally-friendly, long-term solution to eliminating the foul odor would be to restore public access to the cliffs and rocks. Evans is in communication with the city attorney and the office of City Councilmember Sherri Lightner to remove the railing that keeps people off the bluffs and gives the birds and marine mammals free range over the area.